At Reviewed.com, we spent much of 2013 washing and drying thousands of loads of laundry from dozens of washers and dryers, collecting data, and analyzing performance. That makes us uniquely qualified to choose the best products on the market.
Last year saw a great deal of innovation in the laundry space. We were impressed with smart home connectivity, larger-than-ever capacities, and wash cycles tailored to individual consumer needs. We were also pleased to see washers and dryers that got clothes cleaner than ever while still using less water and electricity than their predecessors. These are our choices for the best washers and dryers of 2013.
Best Washing Machine - Kenmore Elite 41472
Runners-Up - Kenmore Elite 41072 and LG WM8000HVA
Our Best Washing Machine, the Kenmore 41472, features a super-fast wash that took under 40 minutes to wash an eight pound test load of laundry. We were also impressed with its superior stain removal, and its ability to spin out excess water. That saves energy and time in the dryer. If you want doing laundry to be easier and faster, this machine is a good bet.
If you need more capacity, we've got two runners-up for you. The Kenmore Elite 41072 and LG WM8000HVA are identical machines with massive 5.2 cubic foot drums. Both washers performed equally well in our lab tests, and both tied for Best High-End Washer. Which one is right for you depends on local availability, sale prices, and whether you prefer the LG or Kenmore warranty.
Best Dryer - Electrolux EWMED70JIW
In addition to its overall drying abilities, what really impressed us about this Electrolux was how well it handled big, heavy items like comforters and sheets. Most dryers leave heavy blankets balled up and still damp, but not the EWMED70JIW. It also features a great deal of options for expertly drying all different kinds of laundry loads, from pet beds to rubber-backed bath mats. (MSRP $1,549)
Runner-Up - Electrolux EIED50LIW
If you don't need as many features, the Electrolux EIED50LIW is also a great dryer. It's as good a performer as the more-expensive EWMED70JIW, but it'll cost you a good deal less upfront. (MSRP $1,099)
Best Innovation in Laundry - Maytag Maxima MHW8000AG with Water Hardness Adjustment
Got hard water? You might not get clean clothes. Detergent doesn't work the same way in hard water, and needs some tweaks to a wash cycle for optimal performance. The Maytag MHW8000AG lets users input their water hardness, and the washer will adjust a cycle accordingly. It's possible thanks to the MHW8000AG's automatic detergent dispenser, which can hold enough soap to wash twelve loads of laundry. (MSRP $1,549)
Best Feature in Laundry - GE Right-Height Riser
GE's GFWR4805FRR washer and GFDR485EFRR dryer feature built-in pedestals that raise the appliances high enough that they're easy to load and unload, but not so tall that it's impossible to use the tops of the appliances as work surfaces. It also means that buyers don't have to purchase an optional pedestal.
Best Washer and Dryer Pair - Kenmore Elite 41472/81472
The Kenmore 41472 washer may be quick and effective, but it also has an excellent matching dryer. The 81472 is just as easy to use as its washer counterpart, and it performs quite well with large loads and delicates alike. If you want a matching pair, this one is a good choice. (MSRP $1,299 washer, $1,409 for dryer)
Runner-Up - Electrolux EWFLS70JIW/EWMED70JIW
The Electrolux 70-series is also an excellent choice, especially if you're looking for lots of options and customizability. The dryer is superb, and the washer is as quick as our Best of Year Kenmore. (MSRP $1,499 for washer, $1,549 for dryer)
Best Value Washer and Dryer Pair - LG WM2250CW/DLE2250W
Easily found on sale for under $600 each, these competent and straightforward LGs prove that you don't have to spend a fortune to get an efficient front-loading washer and matching dryer. They're both the most effective machines in their respective price ranges, and the savings doesn't stop there. We estimated that the front-loading LG uses so much less water than a top-loading counterpart that it could save you up to $100 over five years of ownership. (MSRP $799 each)
Runner-Up - Frigidaire Affinity FAFW3801LW/FAQE7001LW
Simple and user-friendly, these budget Frigidaires are inexpensive to buy and to run. We were more impressed with the washer than the dryer, but both these machines are a good choice for a consumer on a budget who wants effective stain removal and clothes drying. (MSRP $799 each)
Best High End Washers - LG WM8000HVA and Kenmore Elite 41072
It's not often that we award a tie, but these machines not only performed identically in our tests, they could also be twins underneath the sheetmetal. LG makes a version of the WM8000HVA for Kenmore, which is sold only in Sears and Kmart stores.
No matter which one you pick—and we recommend whichever one is on sale, though the LG does have a ten-year motor warranty—you'll get a world-record 5.2 cubic foot capacity, extremely fast wash times, and excellent stain removal. Just be sure to measure your laundry room, since the increased capacity makes for a slightly larger exterior. (MSRP $1,649 for Kenmore, $1,499 for LG)
Runner-Up - Maytag Maxima MHW8000AG
Maytag has redesigned its flagship washer for 2013, and it's wonderful. It did a good job removing stains and spinning out excess water, and it features a ton of cool options. It can automatically dispense detergent, storing enough for twelve washes. And it contains a fan that can even dry a small load of laundry overnight. Cycles that automatically adjust for water hardness won our Best Innovation award. If you want a washer that does everything but iron and fold, this Maytag is our pick. (MSRP $1,549)
Best Mid-Range Washer - Kenmore Elite 41472
Our Best Washer isn't necessarily the most expensive. With sale prices around $1,050, this Kenmore is also our pick for Best Mid-Range Washer. (MSRP $1,299)
Runner-Up - LG WM3470HVA
Once again, this LG is identical to a Kenmore. In this case, the Kenmore Elite 41472 is based on the LG WM3470HVA. For its straightforward user interface and slightly different wash cycle programming, we preferred Kenmore's take on the LG WM3470HVA. But sale prices and a ten-year motor warranty make the LG a very compelling choice as well. Both washers have rapid wash cycles and excellent stain removal. (MSRP $1,099)
Best Value Washer - Frigidaire Affinity FAFW3801LW
This Frigidaire isn't that expensive to purchase, it's extremely easy to use, and it does a good job washing clothes. Plus, it uses a lot less water than an inexpensive top-loader, which could save you more than $100 over five years of ownership. That's why it's our pick for best value. (MSRP $799)
Runner-Up - LG WM2250CW
Retailing for even less than the Frigidaire FAFW3801LW, this simple LG is another great choice. It gets clothes clean efficiently and effectively. If you're looking to replace an old-fashioned top-loader, get ready to save money on your utility bills. (MSRP $699)
Best Top Load Washer - Samsung WA50F9A8DSP
If you prefer a top-loading washer, the Samsung WA50F9A8DSP is our pick. It's the best cleaning top loader we've tested, and it's far more efficient than it's predecessors. A simple user interface and a capacious, 5.0 cubic foot interior makes laundry day easier than ever. (MSRP $1,199)
Runner-Up - GE GTWS8650DWS
Matching the Samsung for its 5.0 cubic foot capacity, the GE GTWS8650DWS adds a ton of features, including an automatic detergent dispenser that can hold enough soap for two months worth of laundry. There's also a soft-closing lid, a stain removal guide, and even a connection to a matching dryer that will prep it for a load of wet laundry. (MSRP $1,299)
Best High-End Top-Load Washer - Samsung WA50F9A8DSP
Runner-Up - GE GTWS8650DWS
Our Best Top-Load Washer and runner-up also won our Best High-End Top-Load Washer awards. The Samsung and GE both may be expensive for top-loaders, but they also feature record-breaking 5.0 cubic foot capacity and lots of interesting features that make them easier to use.
Best Mid-Range Top-Loading Washer - Whirlpool Cabrio WTW8500BW
Whirlpool completely revamped its lineup of top-loading washers and matching dryers for 2013. Fans of high-efficiency top loaders should take note: We've tested nearly every machine, and they all performed well compared to the competition. We think the WTW8500BW is the best mix of features for the money. (MSRP $999)
Runner-Up - Whirlpool Cabrio WTW8100BW
If you don't need as many specialty cycles, the Whirlpool Cabrio WTW8100BW is essentially identical to the WTW8500BW, and costs a little bit less. We'll let you decide which one you prefer. (MSRP $899)
Best Value Top-Loading Washer - GE GTWN5550DWW
GE's GTWN5550DWW couldn't possibly be more simple: Just turn the knob and start the wash. If you're looking for a basic washing machine that's also a good value, this GE is a good choice. (MSRP $799)
Runner-Up - Maytag Bravos MVWB725BW
With redesigned agitation, the affordable MVWB725BW is also a good choice if you want a value-oriented top loader.
Best High-End Dryer - Electrolux EWMED70JIW
Our pick for Best Dryer is also our pick for Best High-End Dryer. This Electrolux impressed us with its upscale features in addition to sheer performance. Steam, a ton of specialty cycles, and a drying rack are option you won't find on most less-expensive machines. The highly-customizable sensor-based cycles were also impressive. (MSRP $1,549)
Runner-Up - LG DLEX8000W
This massive, 9.0 cubic foot dryer is one of the largest machines on the market. That means it'll have no problem tumbling oversized items like comforters and sheets. The Spot Clean feature keeps stains from setting using steam. (MSRP $1,399)
Best Mid-Range Dryer - Electrolux EIED50LIW
The Electrolux EIED50LIW is nearly identical to our pick for Best Dryer and Best High-End Dryer, the EWMED70JIW. For $450 less, you lose some special cycles and a steam dry, but you still get the large capacity drum and excellent drying performance that made us like the EWMED70JIW. And, like the 70-series dryer, the 50-series had no trouble with bulky comforters. (MSRP $1,099)
Runner-Up - Kenmore 81472
Though not as large as the Electrolux, the Kenmore 81472 also had no problem with bulky loads, and also features steam dry and refresh options. (MSRP $1,299)
Best Value Dryer - Maytag Bravos MEDB725BW
Simple to use, and quick and effective at drying clothes, this new Maytag is one of the least expensive machines to also feature steam for refreshing clothes and removing wrinkles. It also has a sensor that lets you know if your vents are blocked. (MSRP $899)
Runner-Up - LG DLE2250W
Part of our Best Value Washer and Dryer pair, this affordable LG can be stacked on top of its matching washer. Our lab tests showed that did a great job drying clothes, and it also had more features than some machines that cost hundreds more, like an antibacterial setting that gets hot enough to kill germs. (MSRP $699)
Best Compact Washer - Blomberg WM 87120
Just because you don't have a ton of space doesn't mean you can't have clean clothes without a trip to a laundromat. Blomberg, a division of a massive Turkish appliance manufacturer, has brought a whole lineup of European-sized compact appliances to the US. Blomberg's 24-inch wide washer is especially impressive. It outperformed larger machines that cost hundreds more, scrubbing stains and spinning out excess water with ease. (MSRP $849)